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Author: Kearney, Meg
Trouper, a three-legged dog, remembers his life as a stray, before he was adopted.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 162969
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 6.40
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 61486
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/13)
School Library Journal (10/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (12/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2013 K-Gr 2—Trouper, a tough three-legged dog, scavenges for food in the streets with a pack of other homeless mutts while "dodging the stones, thrown by boys, who thought the world was mean, and so they had to be." One day, a dogcatcher captures them and takes them to the pound. Though people come and take all the other dogs, no one seems to want Trouper until a kind boy finally adopts him. Narrated in free verse from Trouper's perspective, this tale's voice rings authentically canine (if dogs could write stories, that is). Lewis's characteristic watercolor illustrations laid out in full pages and spreads masterfully accompany Kearney's apt tone, deftly depicting Trouper's varied emotions, from his despondency at being left alone in the shelter to his exuberant joy when running with his new owner. A touching story of hope, friendship, and transcending appearances.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2013 In poetic form, the three-legged Trouper gives a first-person account of his life as a shelter dog. From running free with a pack of dogs, scrounging for food, being enticed (with a steak) by the dog catcher, and dealing with cages of the shelter, Trouper watches as the other dogs are adopted. “My heart was a cold, starless night,” he narrates, while Lewis’ dark-blue painting of a lonely cage depicts this low point in the dog’s life. But when a little boy comes over to his cage, hope is renewed. Adopted, the dog finds love and acceptance and the freedom to run with the boy. Kearney bases the story on her own shelter dog, Trouper, while Lewis uses the real Trouper as the model for his heartwarming illustrations. The book presents a picture of shelters that is perhaps more hopeful than realistic—caring handlers; uncrowded, clean facilities; and a near-total adoption rate. Still, this is affecting material. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2013 Trouper started out as a street dog, running with a pack of mutts and dodging the rocks of taunting kids. Then the three-legged Lab-type pooch and his friends get nabbed by Animal Control and put up for adoption, and everybody in the pack finds a home before Trouper. Finally, though, a young boy takes Trouper to his heart and to his home, where they revel in a life together and outings where they “leave five footprints in the snow.” There’s obvious sentimentality here (“My heart was a cold, starless night”), but the spare text, occasionally patterned with subtle rhymes, gives it maximum effect with minimal flourish. The human portraiture is sometimes awkward, but Lewis’ translucent, light-filled watercolors offer eloquent doggy portraiture, with Trouper sprawling inelegantly and adorably on his back or peering over the edge of the bed with his ears at an irresistible droopy angle. Compositions, especially those drawing on the geometry of the chain-link kennels, are creative and dramatic, while the play of light and dark maximizes the touchability of Trouper’s soft black coat. Get ready with a bouncy follow-up and some Kleenex, because this will move animal-loving kids from tears of grief to tears of joy. DS - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.